Most small businesses struggle to market their business correctly because they just don’t have the time to spend to get it right and don’t now where to start. Well, you came to the right place. Here are 10 easy things to do that are sure to help you get your marketing started and headed in the right direction.
- Know Your Market: As a business owner, it’s critical to understand your local market, especially if you rely on locals to frequent your establishment. If you haven’t already, ask yourself these questions:
- Is my product or service relevant to your local market?
- Does my primary customer live nearby or are they online?
- What external factors in the market potentially hinder my business from growth?
- What factors could potentially help my business grow?
- In what ways can I leverage local networking groups?
- Know Your Customer: Customers aren’t just people that buy from you. They have an identity, an age, occupation, a lifestyle, communication preferences and motivations for wanting to buy from you. Understanding all of these are tremendously valuable so that your marketing can be highly targeted for the right person.
- Know Your Competition: Once you fully understand the market and your customer, you will then be able to identify who are your primary competitors. Then find out why they are your competitors, where their price point is in comparison to yours, their quality point and also overall value to the customer. You must know how your company stacks-up in comparison because this will help drive your marketing messaging and promotions.
- Purpose: Besides the 4-Ps (Price, Product, Place and Promotion), purpose should also be added. What is the purpose of your business and what it offers to the local market? It’s not just to make money… how are you helping make the lives of people or businesses better? Is there a cause? Additionally, your market, customer and competition are foundational for how to position your product and service when creating marketing initiatives. Now you can start looking at the next steps in creating your marketing.
- Brand Consistency: Your company brand is your lifeline to building a stronger business reputation in the market. Be consistent with the look & feel, tone, and imagery. The more consistent your business looks to the customer, the quicker they will identify your business when it appears in front of them. This will also help your customers identify who your company is just by seeing the consistent marketing messages. If customers cannot identify who you are or what you stand for, they will most likely move on.
- Branding vs. Promotion: Most people don’t understand the difference between the two of these. Yes, both are marketing. But there is a distinct difference as mentioned in this blog article. Brand marketing is when the marketing approach is focused on communicating overall awareness to the target audience – not promoting a specific product, service, feature or benefit. It’s a slower process. Promotional marketing is specifically designed to promote a product, service, feature, and benefit and maybe even suggest a time and place to make that purchase. It’s more of a buy-now oriented process.
Now comes the fun part. This is where you take all the great information and business intelligence from above and apply it to make it work. As a small business owner, you probably don’t have much time to spend on your marketing and your money is rather tight as well. That’s okay; there are some cost-effective ways to get the word out where you need it most that won’t break the bank – Here goes.
- Your Website: This is the most important part of your business. Your customers will come here to check you out, so make sure it looks good, tells a great story, is easy to navigate on mobile devices and most of all, make sure your customers don’t get frustrated by not having any clue where to look for information.
- Google: Yeah, we all know Google is the 800-pound gorilla on the block. If you haven’t noticed, they do have some tools that are great for small businesses. One that I like to use is Google remarketing. This targets people that already visited your website and serves them an advertisement that you create – then it is served to them on the public web – Is that cool or what?
- Social Media (Organic and Social Advertising): Social media is one of the easiest ways to expose your business to the world. Organic social media is widely known and accepted by small businesses. For some reason you need more than just social media posts. You want to expose your business to locals right? No problem. I like to use Facebook advertising. It’s more targeted than a bull’s-eye itself and in short order you can be set-up and ready to go. Your company ad will run on Facebook and even on Instagram if you want. You can cap your monthly costs; track your leads right in the ad manager and even use form fills on Facebook itself. This just might be the most powerful ad platform on the planet and very easy to use – perfect for small business owners.
- Email: This is still a very strong marketing tool today. Grow your email list on your website and then re-market to the people on your list by letting them know what’s going on in your business. Tell them about specials, promotional offers, expansion plans, new products and services. There are three email services I use and like, all of which are easy to use. Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact and Mail Chimp. Upload your emails, create your email blast using pre-made templates and send – it’s that easy.
As we all know, business growth is tough, but without marketing, it is even tougher to find new customers. Taking your business to another level requires some up front thinking and strategy. Take advantage of these tips and tools above and you will see that they are designed for do-it-yourself professionals.
YourBrandExposed.com is a digital marketing and strategy consultancy that works with businesses big and small to solve their most difficult questions surrounding digital, brand development, generating qualified leads, business growth and strategic partnerships.
Scott MacFarland – Founder, Chief Content Marketer, Digital Strategist
Additional articles to help small business owners:
- 6 Tips To Help Transform Your Marketing From Good To Great!
- How is The New Digital Economy Impacting Your Business?
- Did You Know Your Brand Has A Job?
Photo Credit: CC0 License, Pexels.com | energepic.com